After just 44 days in No10, the PM took to a lectern outside the famous black door to confirm her departure, sealing her fate as the shortest-serving premier in modern political history.
Revealing she had informed the King of her decision, she said: ‘I cannot deliver on the mandate…. I will remain as PM until a successor has been chosen.’
Ms Truss – who insisted she was a ‘fighter not a quitter’ barely 24 hours ago – said the Tory leadership contest will be completed over the next week. Giving her valedictory statement, she was watched by husband Hugh.
Attention immediately turns to the leadership battle – with Jeremy Hunt ruling himself out within minutes. Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and Suella Braverman are thought likely to run – while Boris Johnson, currently on holiday in the Caribbean, could bid for a shock return.
The bombshelll news follows a week of carnage that saw a bewildering array of U-turns on the mini-Budget, the Chancellor and Home Secretary quit, confusion over whether the Chief Whip had followed her out of the door, and MPs wrestling in Commons voting lobbies.
Ms Truss held crisis talks with 1922 chair Graham Brady, deputy PM Therese Coffey and Tory chair Jake Berry in the building earlier, as they delivered grim message about the mood of the party.
A series of previously-loyal MPs joined calls for her to go this morning. Even supportive Cabinet ministers had been conceding the situation is ‘terminal’.
Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan was sent out to prop up the PM this morning, but would only say that ‘at the moment’ she believes Ms Truss will lead the Tories into the next election.
The main obstacle to removing Ms Truss over recent days was the lack of consensus on who should take over and what the process should be, with little appetite for a drawn-out contest.
Nadine Dorries has warned the only person who would be acceptable in a ‘coronation’ is Mr Johnson.
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E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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